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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Who will bowl the last over ? - the Chaos Manager

Chaotic behaviour exists in many natural systems, such as weather and climate.Chaos theory is the field of study in mathematics that studies the behaviour and condition of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions—a response popularly referred to as the butterfly effect The deterministic nature of these systems does not make them predictable.  It is when the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.

This is a grab from an IPL finish in 2013, when Kedar Mahadav Jadhav keeping for Delhi ……in the final over was seen having removed his right hand glove and keeping with only one glove on! –Dhoni had done that earlier and did that with precision yesterday too !

Score card reads : India 146 for 7 (Raina 30, Mustafizur 2-34) beat Bangladesh 145 for 9 (Tamim 35, Ashwin 2-20) by one run  ~ only those of us who watched will remember that drama behind. It was not about a great delivery, but more about that extraordinary sprint of the ageing warrior 15 years beating the already steaming non-striker, that breathed life India’s chances of qualifiying.

Kapil Dev running backwards to take a great catch getting rid of Viv Richards off the bowling of Madanlal on 25th June 1983 – and this scoop on 24th Sept 2007 remain etched in memories of Indian Cricket lover.  We have now seen that ‘ who will bowl that last over ’ – umpteen times – having been at the helm for only 22 days Mahendra Singh Dhoni took that crucial decision to go ahead with Joginder Sharma in T 20 no. 46 at New Wanderers.  It was a cracker – 13 off last over.  Misbah on strike – Joginder the bowler, who bowled a poor wide – big one at that ! – then came a dot ball; 19.2 full toss, hit straight back for a six reducing the target to a simple 6 off 4.   Then came that fatal scoop that Misbah would rue for rest of life – moved in, tried hitting over fine leg, ball went up in air and came down into the waiting hands of Santhakumaran Sreesanth, who too became part of history. 

The same Q yesterday too…. who will bowl the last over – Ashish Nehra 4-0-29-1; J Bumrah 4-0-32-0 (he did bowl a great 19th over); Ashwin 4-0-20-2; Ravi Jadeja 4-0-22-2; Suresh Raina 1-0-9-1 ….. the boy left Hardik Pandya

It was Dhoni’s ability to stay calm under intense pressure. With India in danger of falling short of the semi-final stage, Dhoni's charges held their nerve and when asked afterward about the end of game situation he said it was important to keep cool in such hectic situations. "In a situation like this, it's literally chaos. What you are trying to do is you're trying to manage chaos," Dhoni said after the match. "Everybody will come and he'll have his own opinion. --  one could see Nehra offering loads of advice to the tense Pandya.

MS Dhoni lauded allrounder Hardik Pandya's "fantastic execution" of the last ball, which led to Mustafizur Rahman being run out by Dhoni in a mad-cap final over. The equation ultimately boiled down to two needed off the last ball. After a lengthy chat with Dhoni and Ashish Nehra, Pandya sent down a back-of-a-length ball outside off, which Shuvagata Hom could not reach. He attempted a bye, and Mustafizur responded, but Dhoni was too quick for him. He sprinted and broke the stumps down as India edged Bangladesh.

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza admitted that his team lost it under pressure, in the last three balls. "I think the last three balls actually, we lost three wickets and needed only two runs," he said. Though there was lot of drama – with India not setting a great target, it was sort of easy last over – it was 17 off 12 and 11 off 6.

Of that boiling cauldron of last over – Mahmudulla scored a single; Mushfiqur Rahim, picked up the slower one, smashed through extra cover for a 4; 3rd was scooped past for another 4 – simple 2 needed off 3.  Mushfiqur was all celebrating, had a win a match by his heroics.  Next ball held out to deep midwicket, Dhawan completing the catch. Mahmudullah having crossed over slogged a full toss, Jadeja ran in, took the catch, rolled and rolled as Indians celebrated.  That last ball, Shuvgata Hom missed a wider delivery, Mustafizur was already running and so was Dhoni who was keeping with a single glove…………the aged workhorse ran faster, broke the stumps and it was celebrations …

In the third over of Bangladesh's chase, Hardik Pandya at long-on, snatched  the ball flying overhead. In the next few seconds, as the Chinnaswamy Stadium erupted around him,as  Pandya appeared to undergo a series of eruptions himself. He had another night to celebrate !

Hail Dhoni, the Captain, the glove man (those great stumpings), the fastest runner in between wickets, the Chaos Manager!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

24th Mar 2016.

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